We compared four brands of microtubes with respect to their suitability for long-range polymerase chain reactions (PCRs). One of the four brands was found to have an inhibitory effect, decreasing PCR yields. The effect was universal across different PCR or enzyme systems. Increased ultraviolet absorbance suggests leaching of unknown chemical species into PCR mixtures. However, this could not be confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. Nevertheless, our article demonstrates a clear impact of the choice of microtubes on long-range PCR success. Due consideration should be given to the PCR microtubes when determining optimal reaction conditions for long-range PCR.
The low presentation efficiency of Fab (fragment antigen binding) fragments during phage display is largely due to the complexity of disulphide bond formation. This can result in the presentation of Fab fragments devoid of a light chain during phage display. Here we propose the use of a coplasmid system encoding several molecular chaperones (DsbA, DsbC, FkpA, and SurA) to improve Fab packaging. A comparison was done using the Fab fragment from IgG and IgD. We found that the use of the coplasmid during phage packaging was able to improve the presentation efficiency of the Fab fragment on phage surfaces. A modified version of panning using the coplasmid system was evaluated and was successful at enriching Fab binders. Therefore, the coplasmid system would be an attractive alternative for improved Fab presentation for phage display.
Immunoassays are often coupled to peroxidase activity for antigen detection. Sensitivity and speed of detection has been increased by the advent of hybrid methods such as immuno-PCR (polymerase chain reaction). However, a more simplified immunoassay that retains both colorimetric peroxidase detection and effective DNA amplification in a setting closer to field application conditions has been nonexistent. Here we describe a method that successfully combines a competitive immunoassay with the new isothermal quadruplex-primed amplification (QPA) to generate excess quadruplex reporter molecules with intrinsic peroxidase DNAzyme activity.
When recombineering bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs), it is common practice to design the ends of the donor molecule with 50 bp of homology specifying its insertion site. We demonstrate that desired recombinants can be produced using intermolecular homologies as short as 15 bp. Although the use of shorter donor end regions decreases total recombinants by several fold, the frequency of recombinants with correctly inserted donor molecules was high enough for easy detection by simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening. This observation may have important implications for the design of oligonucleotides for recombineering, including significant cost savings, especially for high-throughput projects that use large quantities of primers.
Successful gene delivery into mammalian cells using bactofection requires entry of the bacterial vector via cell surface integrin receptors followed by release of plasmid DNA into the cellular environment. We show, for the first time, that addition of the DNA transfection reagent Lipofectamine improves entry of invasive Escherichia coli into HeLa cells and enhances up to 2.8-fold green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression from a reporter plasmid. The addition of Lipofectamine may be applicable to other bacterial vectors to increase their DNA delivery efficiency into mammalian cells.
The quality of a nucleotide-based library such as a synthetic antibody library is highly dependent on the diversity available. Diversity can be generated using degenerate oligonucleotides introduced during gene assembly. Conventional approaches to gene assembly are not efficient for oligonucleotides with long stretches of degeneracy. We propose an efficient alternative for simultaneous introduction of three randomized regions in a synthetic antibody gene via temperature cascading. The strategy takes advantage of DNA reannealing kinetics. The strategy can be adopted for generating diversity of gene inserts during the construction of nucleotide-based libraries.
The phage N15 protelomerase enzyme (TelN) is essential for the replication of its genome by resolution of its telRL domain, located within a telomerase occupancy site (tos), into hairpin telomeres. Isolation of TelN for in vitro processing of tos, however, is a highly complex process, requiring multiple purification steps. In this study a simplified protocol for crude total protein extraction is described that retains the tos-cleaving activity of TelN for at least 4 weeks, greatly simplifying in vitro testing of its activity. This protocol may be extended for functional analysis of other phage and bacterial proteins, particularly DNA-processing enzymes.
Here a mass spectrometry-based platform for the analysis of glycoproteins is presented. Glycopeptides and released glycans are analyzed, the former by quadrupole orthogonal time-of-flight liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (QoTOF LC/MS) and the latter by permethylation analysis using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-TOF MS. QoTOF LC/MS analysis reveals the stochastic distribution of glycoforms at occupied sequons, and the latter provides a semiquantitative assessment of overall protein glycosylation. Hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) was used for unbiased enrichment of glycopeptides and was validated using five model N-glycoproteins bearing a wide array of glycans, including high-mannose, complex, and hybrid subtypes such as sulfo and sialyl forms. Sialyl and especially sulfated glycans are difficult to analyze because these substitutions are labile. The conditions used here allow detection of these compounds quantitatively, intact, and in the context of overall glycosylation. As a test case, we analyzed influenza B/Malaysia/2506/2004 hemagglutinin, a component of the 2006-2007 influenza vaccine. It bears 11 glycosylation sites. Approximately 90% of its glycans are high mannose, and 10% are present as complex and hybrid types, including those with sulfate. The stochastic distribution of glycoforms at glycosylation sites is revealed. This platform should have wide applications to glycoproteins in basic sciences and industry because no apparent bias for any glycoforms is observed.
A convenient acidimetric assay for phospholipase A using egg yolk suspension as substrate has been developed. The substrate mixture consists of 1 part egg yolk, 1 part 8.1 mM sodium deoxycholate, and 1 part 18 mM calcium chloride. Phospholipase A activity is measured by following the initial rate of pH change, which is linear between pH 8.0 and 7.75 and is proportional to enzyme concentration over a wide range. The assay is highly reproducible, with a coefficient of variation of 3%, and as sensitive as most established assays for phospholipase A. The assay uses inexpensive and easily available substrate and is simple to perform. It is particularly useful for monitoring phospholipase A activity in chromatography fractions.
Sample preparation for scanning electron microscope analysis involves reagents and equipment that are expensive and often hazardous. Here we demonstrate a circumvention of Osmium tetroxide and critical point drying, greatly reducing the duration, complexity and cost of the process. We captured early stage interactions of invasive-bacteria and HeLa cells during the process of bacteria-mediated gene delivery and illustrate sufficient clarity can be obtained using this procedure to preserve and clearly visualize relevant cellular structures. This protocol is significantly cheaper and easier to adapt compared to conventional methods, and will allow routine preparation/viewing of eukaryotic or bacterial samples for basic morphological studies.
A method using solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to quantitatively detect mitragynine, 16-carboxy mitragynine, and 9-O-demethyl mitragynine in human urine samples was developed and validated. The relevant metabolites were identified using multiple reaction monitoring in positive ionization mode using nalorphine as an internal standard. The method was validated for accuracy, precision, recovery, linearity, and lower limit of quantitation. The intra- and inter-day accuracy and precision were found in the range of 83.6-117.5% with coefficient of variation less than 13%. The percentage of recovery for mitragynine, 16-carboxy mitragynine, and 9-O-demethyl mitragynine was within the range of 80.1-118.9%. The lower limit of quantification was 1 ng/mL for mitragynine, 2 ng/mL for 16-carboxy mitragynine, and 50 ng/mL for 9-O-demethyl mitragynine. The developed method was reproducible, high precision and accuracy with good linearity and recovery for mitragynine, 16-carboxy mitragynine, and 9-O-demethyl mitragynine in human urine.
Distinctive bioactivities possessed by luteolin (3', 4', 5, 7-tetrahydroxy-flavone) are advantageous for sundry practical applications. This paper reports the in vitro selection and characterization of single stranded-DNA (ssDNA) aptamers, specific for luteolin (LUT). 76-mer library containing 1015 randomized ssDNA were screened via systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). The recovered ssDNA pool from the 8th round was amplified with unlabeled primers and cloned into PSTBlue-1 vector prior to sequencing. 22 of LUT-binding aptamer variants were further classified into one of the seven groups based on their N40 random sequence regions, wherein one representative from each group was characterized. The dissociation constant of aptamers designated as LUT#28, LUT#20 and LUT#3 was discerned to be 107, 214 and 109 nM, respectively with high binding affinity towards LUT. Prediction analysis of the secondary structure suggested discrete features with typical loop and stem motifs. Furthermore, LUT#3 displayed higher specificity with insignificant binding toward kaempferol and quercetin despite its structural and functional similarity compared to LUT#28 and LUT#20. Further LUT#3 can detect free luteolin within 0.2-1 mM in solution. It was suggested that LUT#3 aptamer were the most suitable for LUT recognition tool at laboratory scale based on the condition tested.
In this study, an amino-modified aptasensor using multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)-deposited ITO electrode was prepared and evaluated for the detection of pathogenic Salmonella bacteria. An amino-modified aptamer (ssDNA) which binds selectively to whole-cell Salmonella was immobilised on the COOH-rich MWCNTs to produce the ssDNA/MWCNT/ITO electrode. The morphology of the MWCNT before and after interaction with the aptamers were observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques were used to investigate the electrochemical properties and conductivity of the aptasensor. The results showed that the impedance measured at the ssDNA/MWCNT/ITO electrode surface increased after exposure to Salmonella cells, which indicated successful binding of Salmonella on the aptamer-functionalised surface. The developed ssDNA/MWCNT/ITO aptasensor was stable and maintained linearity when the scan rate was increased from 10 mV s-1 to 90 mV s-1. The detection limit of the ssDNA/MWCNT/ITO aptasensor, determined from the sensitivity analysis, was found to be 5.5 × 101 cfu mL-1 and 6.7 × 101 cfu mL-1 for S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium, respectively. The specificity test demonstrated that Salmonella bound specifically to the ssDNA/MWCNT/ITO aptasensor surface, when compared with non-Salmonella spp. The prepared aptasensor was successfully applied for the detection of Salmonella in food samples.
A miniaturized biosensing platform, based on monoclonal amyloid-beta antibodies (mAβab) that were immobilized on a disc-shaped platinum/iridium (Pt/Ir) microelectrode surface coupled with an impedimetric signal transducer, was developed for the label-free and sensitive detection of amyloid-beta peptide fragment 1-40 (Aβ40); a reliable biomarker for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A Pt/Ir microelectrode was electropolymerized with poly (ortho-phenylenediamine), a conducting free amine-containing aromatic polymer; followed by crosslinking with glutaraldehyde for subsequent coupling of mAβab on the microelectrode surface. This modification strategy efficiently improved the impedimetric detection performance of Aβ40 in terms of charge transfer resistance (∼400-fold difference) and normalized impedance magnitude percentage change (∼40% increase) compared with a passive adsorption-based immobilization method. The sensitivity of the micro-immunosensing assay was found to be 1056 kΩ/(pg/mL)/cm2 and the limit of detection was found to be 4.81 pg/mL with a dynamic range of 1-104 pg/mL (R2 = 0.9932). The overall precision of the assay, as measured by relative standard deviation, ranged from 0.84 to 5.15%, demonstrating its reliability and accuracy; while in respect to assay durability and stability, the immobilized mAβab were able to maintain 80% of their binding activity to Aβ40 after incubation for 48 h at ambient temperature (25 °C). To validate the practical applicability, the assay was tested using brain tissue lysates prepared from AD-induced rats. Results indicate that the proposed impedimetric micro-immunosensing platform is highly versatile and adaptable for the quantitative detection of other disease-related biomarkers.
In the present study, a nanocomposite of f-MWCNTs-chitosan-Co was prepared by the immobilization of Co(II) on f-MWCNTs-chitosan by a self-assembly method and used for the quantitative determination of paracetamol (PR). The composite was characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDX). The electroactivity of cobalt immobilized on f-MWCNTs-chitosan was assessed during the electro-oxidation of paracetamol. The prepared GCE modified f-MWCNTs/CTS-Co showed strong electrocatalytic activity towards the oxidation of PR. The electrochemical performances were investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). Under favorable experimental conditions, differential pulse voltammetry showed a linear dynamic range between 0.1 and 400 μmol L-1 with a detection limit of 0.01 μmol L-1 for the PR solution. The fabricated sensor exhibited significant selectivity towards PR detection. The fabricated sensor was successfully applied for the determination of PR in commercial tablets and human serum sample.
Anti-salbutamol antibodies remain as important tools for the detection of salbutamol abuse in athletic doping. This study evaluated the feasibility and efficiency of the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) as an immunization host to generate anti-salbutamol scFv antibodies by phage display. A phage display antibody library was constructed from a single chicken immunized against salbutamol-KLH conjugate. After a stringent biopanning strategy, a novel scFv clone which was inhibited by free salbutamol recorded the highest affinity. This scFv was expressed as soluble and functional protein in Escherichia coli T7 SHuffle Express B (DE3) strain. Cross-reactivity studies of the scFv towards other relevant β2-agonists revealed that the scFv cross-reacted significantly towards clenbuterol. The determined IC50 of the scFv towards the two β2-agonists were; IC50 salbutamol = ∼0.310 μg/ml, IC50 clenbuterol = ∼0.076 μg/ml. The generated scFv demonstrated poor stability based on accelerated stability studies. The scFv was used to develop an competitive indirect ELISA (LOD = 0.125 μg/ml) for detection of parent salbutamol in spiked human urine (n = 18) with ∼83.4% reliability at the cut-off of 1 μg/ml currently implemented by WADA and may be of potential use in human doping urinalysis.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease, transmitted through intimate skin contact or mucosal membrane. The HPV virus consists of a double-stranded circular DNA and the role of HPV virus in cervical cancer has been studied extensively. Thus it is critical to develop rapid identification method for early detection of the virus. A portable biosensing device could give rapid and reliable results for the identification and quantitative determination of the virus. The fabrication of electrochemical biosensors is one of the current techniques utilized to achieve this aim. In such electrochemical biosensors, a single-strand DNA is immobilized onto an electrically conducting surface and the changes in electrical parameters due to the hybridization on the electrode surface are measured. This review covers the recent developments in electrochemical DNA biosensors for the detection of HPV virus. Due to the several advantages of electrochemical DNA biosensors, their applications have witnessed an increased interest and research focus nowadays.
The variation in the extracellular metabolites of RAW 264.7 cells obtained from different passage numbers (passage 9, 12 and 14) was examined. The impact of different harvesting protocols (trypsinization and scraping) on recovery of intracellular metabolites was then assessed. The similarity and variation in the cell metabolome was investigated using 1H NMR metabolic profiling modeled using multivariate data analysis. The characterization and quantification of metabolites was performed to determine the passage-related and harvesting-dependent effects on impacted metabolic networks. The trypsinized RAW cells from lower passages gave higher intensities of most identified metabolites, including asparagine, serine and tryptophan. Principal component analysis revealed variation between cells from different passages and harvesting methods, as indicated by the formation of clusters in score plot. Analysis of S-plots revealed metabolites that acted as biomarkers in discriminating cells from different passages including acetate, serine, lactate and choline. Meanwhile lactate, glutamine and pyruvate served as biomarkers for differentiating trypsinized and scraped cells. In passage-dependent effects, glycolysis and TCA cycle were influential, whereas glycerophospholipid metabolism was affected by the harvesting method. Overall, it is proposed that typsinized RAW cells from lower passage numbers are more appropriate when conducting experiments related to NMR metabolomics.
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is a versatile reporter protein and has been widely used in biological research. However, its quantitation requires expensive equipment such as a spectrofluorometer. In the current study, a gel documentation imaging system using a native polyacrylamide gel for the quantitation of GFP was developed. The assay was evaluated for its precision, linearity, reproducibility, and sensitivity in the presence of Escherichia coli cells and was compared with the spectrofluorometric method. Using this newly established, gel-based imaging technique; the amount of GFP can be quantified accurately.
An organic solvent-tolerant S5 lipase was purified by affinity chromatography and anion exchange chromatography. The molecular mass of the lipase was estimated to be 60 kDa with 387 purification fold. The optimal temperature and pH were 45 degrees C and 9.0, respectively. The purified lipase was stable at 45 degrees C and pH 6-9. It exhibited the highest stability in the presence of various organic solvents such as n-dodecane, 1-pentanol, and toluene. Ca2+ and Mg2+ stimulated lipase activity, whereas EDTA had no effect on its activity. The S5 lipase exhibited the highest activity in the presence of palm oil as a natural oil and triolein as a synthetic triglyceride. It showed random positional specificity on the thin-layer chromatography.